May 23, 2024

After a long break, measles is spreading again

World Health Organizations (WHO) reported that Europe is experiencing an alarming rise in measles cases. More than 30000 measles cases were reported by 40 of the WHO European Region’s 53 member states between January and October last year, whereas in 2022 there were only 941 cases. 

Till now, approximately 21000 people are hospitalized, and 5 deaths are counted. WHO says that this rising trend may continue if necessary preventive steps are not taken. 

According to the weekly threat report of European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), the existence of the virus could not be found during the Covid-19 era in Europe, but the spread has been increasing since June 2023. 

Not only the UK, but also Romania is in huge danger. Last December, the country’s health ministry declared a national measles epidemic since there is a high rate of hospitalized children affected by measles. 

CDC assumes that this disease can spread due to two reasons. One, an increase in the numbers of travelers who get measles abroad and bring it into the country. Two, further spread of measles in communities with pockets of unvaccinated people. 

Covid-19 is also responsible for the spreading of measles. This respiratory disease negatively affects the immune ability of people of every age. Hence, people kept losing the strength of their immunity system and now it’s easier for other diseases to attack them. 

In 2023, measles has affected people of every age group and there are also significant differences in the age distribution of cases among countries. Overall, 2 in 5 cases were among children 1 to 4 years of age, and 1 in 5 cases were among adults 20 years and older. 

Dr. Hans Henri P. Kluge, WHO Regional Director for Europe suggests that vaccination is the only way to protect children from this potentially dangerous disease.

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